I just recently spent the last weekend in one of the most beautiful places in Wisconsin. Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin just held the final Bassmaster event of their 2015 season. I was lucky enough to get the chance to not only watch the best bass anglers in action, but I also got the chance to talk fishing with them as well. It was so cool to just hang out and talk with the guys that I have looked up to my whole life.
Once the excitement settled I realized that my heros are just normal guys that share the love for fishing. They are no different than you and I. This is where I saw how much we as Icefishing competitors had in common. Watching them load there boats early in the morning was no different than how we line up on the ice. High fives and “good luck out there today buddy” were all I saw. Even though we are competing at the highest level we are all still friends. I also noticed that some of the guys team up to help each other get bites. I’ve seen that on our circuit as well, guys teaming up to help “eliminate bad water”. The coolest part was I was able to watch all of this happen just a few feet away, my heros, the best of the best, just doing what they love for a living.
My hopes is that one day we can get a crowd as big as the Bassmasters into tournament icefishing. Most people don’t realize how much they could learn on the ice if they just fallowed a few teams around, just one day on the ice would blow some people’s minds. The best of the best show up, and more times than not would be more than happy to answer a question or two while they are fishing.
One thing that really caught my attention while I was in Sturgeon Bay was the amount of kids that showed up. It was truly amazing how many young kids were there running around asking for autographs. These kids with huge smiles on their faces running up to the anglers just begging to get a shirt signed or get their picture taken with these guys. Most of them didn’t even know who the angler was, they just saw how cool it was to meet someone famous. I really hope one day we can get icefishing to that level, and I believe we are on the right track.
The way I see it we are all working towards the same goals, and that is to preform to our greatest abilities and to always be helping out the next generation. We all as anglers know if we don’t get the youth involved our sport will fade to nothing. Next time you see that there is a fishing event in your area take some time to go learn something, and if you have kids or know someone who has kids bring them along, they will love it.